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  • Breda Ba.88 (Lince) Heavy Fighter / Light Bomber / Ground Attack Aircraft

    The Breda Ba.88 Lince arrived in pre-war Italy during 1938 and was quickly retired in 1941 once the fighting started.

     Updated: 6/12/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    Following the failure of the proposed Breda Ba.75 product (just one example was completed), intended to fulfill a reconnaissance / ground attack role for the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force), the service passed along a new requirement in 1936 calling for a heavy fighter aircraft with a maximum speed of 329 miles per hour, a range out to 1,240 miles and standardized armament consisting of 20mm automatic cannons. This was to become a powerful, high-speed, heavy gun platform to outmatch all others of its kind and provide a true "bomber killer" for the Italian air service. To fall in line with heavy fighters of the day, a two-seat, twin-engined monoplane wing arrangement with all-metal skinning was envisioned.

    The resultant design became the Breda Ba.88 which was debuted in 1937 and proved a promising venture in the early going. The aircraft was well-streamlined and carried its engines in nacelles along the wing leading edges. The cockpit was situated along the fuselage and aft of a nose cone assembly. The fuselage then tapered towards the tail to which a pair of rounded vertical fins was fitted. A conventional tail-dragger undercarriage arrangement was used with all legs wholly retractable into the design. Internally the aircraft was given a load-bearing structure which dated its otherwise advanced form. Self-sealing fuel tanks were standard within though internal space was such that a modest bombload was forced to be carried externally. Standard armament was 3 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns in the nose while the second crewmember managed a trainable 7.7mm installation at the rear cockpit. Provision was made to install a 20mm automatic cannon in place of one of the nose-mounted 12.7mm fits.

    Power for the prototype was served from 2 x Isotta-Fraschini K14 series engines but production forms carried 2 x Piaggio P.XI RC.40 "Stella" 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines of 1,000 horsepower each. These drove three-bladed propelled units. Maximum speed for the mark reached 304 miles per hour with a range out to 1,019 miles and a service ceiling of 26,250 feet. 10,000 feet could be reached in about 7.5 minutes.

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    Breda Ba.88 (Lince) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1938
    Type: Heavy Fighter / Light Bomber / Ground Attack Aircraft
    National Origin: Kingdom of Italy
    Manufacturer(s): Ernesto Breda - Italy
    Production Total: 149

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 2
    Length: 35.43 feet (10.8 meters)
    Width: 51.18 feet (15.60 meters)
    Height: 10.17 feet (3.10 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 10,251 lb (4,650 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 14,881 lb (6,750 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x Piaggio P.XI RC.40 Stella 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,000 horsepower each.

    Maximum Speed: 304 mph (490 kph; 265 knots)
    Maximum Range: 1,019 miles (1,640 km)
    Service Ceiling: 26,247 feet (8,000 meters; 4.97 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 1,315 feet-per-minute (401 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    3 x 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT heavy machine guns in nose
    1 x 7.7mm Breda-SAFAT medium machine gun in rear cockpit.

    Up to 2,205 lb of conventional drop stores as well as 440 lb under the fuselage in a semi-recessed position.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Kingdom of Italy

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    Ba.88 "Lince" - Base Series Designation

    Ba.88M - Dedicated ground attack model; three examples.